Questers’ visit to Southampton Central Mosque 17 April 2024



A party of 25 was warmly greeted by the Mosque Secretary, Mr Zahir Ahmed at the entrance where we were invited to remove our shoes and place them on a rack. Fortunately, they had underfloor heating!  The ladies also had to cover their hair.

We were ushered into a largish room to be seated for a general talk and question and answer session by Mr Ahmed   followed by an explanation of the 5 basic pillars of Islam, namely belief in one God and his messenger Mohamed, prayer, pilgrimage (hajj), almsgiving and fasting, from the Chief Imam.  Basic beliefs in the Old Testament, but an earlier version to the one we may be familiar with and the Koran both written in unchanging Arabic were compared to the various editions of the Bible. Apparently the Mosque caters for more than 30 different nationality groups who live or work in the Southampton area.

The mosque is named after Abu Bakr, the closest colleague to the Prophet, and they follow Sunni teachings which is the original version of the faith.

We were provided with a very acceptable lunch at a very modest price and then shown the pre-prayer washing procedure necessary to prepare the faithful for prayer.  There are separate washing facilities for men and women and the sexes also have separate prayer sessions.  The ladies were dressed all in black with flowing gowns and complete covering of head/hair.

Immediately following the washing procedure we were able to witness prayers.     The prayers were attended by men of about 16 or older and there was a fair number of young men present.  Prayers in Arabic lasted about 15/20 minutes and seemed to follow a pre-set programme.   Shortly after, the visit concluded.

Throughout the visit our hosts could not have been more welcoming or hospitable and did everything possible to make our visit both interesting and enjoyable.

Norma Bryan


Photography Group April Meeting

The Group met at 3 p.m. on 8th April with the theme ‘Motion’ hosted by Angie Sargean

5 people attended as Rosemary Crumplin had not recovered from a virus infection – partly the reason March’s meeting was abandoned. Angie Sargeant and Mike Liberson both had operations that precluded attendance.

Overall best picture was Angie Sargeant’s ‘Tree Surgeon’.

Angie is housebound and she was fortunate to see some tree pruning in a neighbour’s garden. Her garden windmill was also highly recommended as a good example of the theme.

The May theme is ‘Technology’. John Hawke encouraged members to discuss options for the theme as well as ideas for the June meeting ‘Bleak Landscapes’ – now was the time to take the photographs – one hopes that by June we might have better weather!

Guided Tour of The Brickworks Museum Swanwick Thursday 16 May 2024

Guided Tour of The Brickworks Museum Swanwick Thursday 16 May 2024

This will be a “guided tour” of The Brickworks Museum in Swanwick near Southampton ( . It is the only steam driven brickworks in the UK to be Grade II listed.

This will be a self-drive trip meeting at Wickes at 09:30 on the 16th May. This will enable people to car share reducing the number of cars travelling to the Brickworks. If you need a lift to Wickes car park let me know and that can be arranged.

The proposed timetable is the following:

  • Leave Wickes 09:30
  • Arrive at Swanwick Brickworks approx. 10:30
  • Time available when we arrive for comfort break and orientate and make ourselves known to guide and maybe have a tea or coffee in the Café before starting the tour.
  • The tour will start at 11:00 and will be fairly informal with questions being welcomed.
  • After the tour there is a café available onsite with a range of light lunch options (attached is the menu)
  • The site also houses the Southampton and District Transport Heritage Trust ( and a Penny Arcade ( where the machines can actually be played on purchasing old pennies on site.
  • The cost for the trip is £8.00.

If you wish to come on this trip, please pay £8.00 to the Anton U3A business account No: 71587986, Sort Code 40-08-28 with the reference Brickworks and your Membership No: I need to have final numbers confirmed by 30th April 2024 as the Brickworks need notice to organise guides.

If you have any questions on this trip, please contact Kevin Barter at or 07974 111551